R.I.P. 2014’s blog experiment …

I couldn’t find a good RIP image, so this will have to do.

The term has come to a close, and for the second year in a row my wife and I decided to flee from the layers of jackets and scarves (well, yes, really just one layer – I have never worn more than one scarf at a time). Last year we went to spend Christmas with my family in South Africa, and this year we chose the tropical island of Singapore as our place to sweat. We will be here for two weeks, and as I am now officially on a break, and officially jet-lagged, I thought it would be a good time to drop in to this poor, neglected blog.

The Head of the MS, Mike Crowley, recently posted a concise reflection of his blog experiment (read it here). In it he mentions the book Bloggers’ Boot Camp: Learning How to Build, Write and Run a Successful Blog, in which the authors, John Biggs and Charlie White, observe that a blog that hasn’t been updated in a month is dead. I sniff, as I raise a Kleenex to my left eye (this one has an over-active tear duct), and mourn the passing of this blog. Seriously, I jest not. I had ambitions for this space, and somewhere along the line the wheels came off. Here is one extended reason why:

  • I chose to attempt to cover all bases in one blog space. I wanted this to be a space to: connect with the parents of my students, interact with my students, reflect on my practice, connect with other educators, comment on interesting bits and pieces I had read, provide practical information like homework deadlines – I think that covers it. Ah, the folly! 
  • Due to the point above, I struggled to drop into a topic for each post, as I wasn’t quite sure who I was writing for.
  • As a consequence of the previous two points, the process became more difficult and therefore less likely to be something I was drawn to after a few hours of giving feedback.

This chain of events resulted in a “sinking sand moment”, and no Land Rover could ease this blog out gently. Its head dipped below the soft granules, as turnerlearnerteacher gasped, and with a sorrowful look of resignation, closed its long eyelashes, and bid farewell.

Wait! This is not over, I cry! There is a way forward, I know it! (The eyelashes flutter, transforming what were annoying clumps of common sand into golden orbs of hope.)

My most important audience is my group of students, closely followed by my students’ parents. I see a blog as an addition to my classroom, and as a powerful communication tool with the school community. I also want to have a dedicated space to reflect on practice and connect with educators. This means, I think, two blogs. My experiment was worthwhile, and in typical Turner fashion, I believed it would work. This format didn’t, but that hasn’t put me off. 

In the new year, I will reinvent my blogging spaces. They will be outstanding. I mean, they will be maintained. See you then!